Law Street Media

LinkedIn Settles Data Scraping Suit with Singapore-Based Mantheos

Person holding tablet with LinkedIn app open

Simferopol, Crimea - May 25, 2014: LinkedIn is a social network for search and establishment of business contacts. It is founded in 2002.

Three months after LinkedIn sued Mantheos Pte. and several of its principals, the parties have agreed to end the dispute with an injunction barring the Singapore-based company from scraping data from the professional networking service’s website. Monday’s judgment, signed by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, also prevents the defendants from selling the data, which LinkedIn said harmed users by violating their privacy and subjecting them to unremitted spam.

The Northern District of California lawsuit asserted that the defendants used automated technologies such as scraping, crawling, and bots alongside many fake accounts to gain access to areas of its platform accessible only to legitimate LinkedIn members. In addition to jeopardizing the privacy of members who had information like their work experience, education, skills, titles, and posts lifted, the company also lost out on premium membership fees.

Purportedly, the defendants would pay for free trials with prepaid debit cards under fake names to fraudulently obtain access to LinkedIn Sales Navigator that would also allow them to escape paying when the free trial period ended. Lastly, the company said that the defendants tried to show false association by misappropriating LinkedIn’s trade dress. For the alleged harm, Linkedin an injunction and money damages.

Now, LinkedIn has agreed to end the suit based on the parties’ injunctive relief-only agreement. The five-page judgment specifies the defendants have not answered the allegations leveled against them, but deny liability. Under the deal, the defendants will refrain from their allegedly illicit practices and destroy all LinkedIn member profile data.

LinkedIn is represented by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and the defendants by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

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